Lt. Gen. (Ret) Fred Kornet Jr. passed away June 22 at St. Catherine's Village. He was born in Wortendyke, N.J., October 2, 1919, to Frederick Kornet and Adrienne Roteman. He is survived by his two daughters, Kathleen Lyell (Garland Lyell) of Jackson, and Christine Kornet (David Montgomerie) of Hilo, Hawaii; four grandchildren: Rick Johnson (Allison), Scott Johnson (Jennifer), William Montgomerie and Claire Montgomerie; and four great-grandchildren, all of whom visited "Grandpa Fred" often. A loving nephew and several special nieces also visited as often as they could. He is predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Lois Esau Kornet, and his brother John L. Kornet.
Fred earned an engineering degree from Lehigh University in 1940, while participating in ROTC. He began his Army career in 1941. During World War II he served in the European Theater as an ordnance supply officer. After the war, he was stationed in Germany for three years first as the executive officer of 1st Battalion, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. In 1953 he was assigned to Watertown Arsenal, MA, where he was assistant to the chief of the operations division. Earning an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1957, Fred combined his interest in the business of military hardware with a lifelong desire to serve his country. He next completed a four year tour of duty with the Office of the Chief of Ordnance in Washington, D.C. as Chief of the Guided Missiles Branch. From 1961 to 1962, he attended the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., after which he was named Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics with the 7th Logistical Command in Korea. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1965, he assumed command of Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y., and was promoted to brigadier general in July of 1967. Moving back to Washington, he was then assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. In August of 1970, he was promoted to major general and assigned as commanding general of the Army Aviation Systems Command, St. Louis. In 1973 he returned to the Pentagon, was promoted to lieutenant general, and was sworn in as the deputy chief of staff for logistics for the United States Army. He retired from active duty on August 31, 1975.
Fred and Lois settled in Allentown, Pa. where they lived until moving to St. Catherine’s Village in 2005.
Fred was an avid golfer. In Washington he and Lois played often at Army Navy Country Club. In Allentown, he was a member of Lehigh Country Club where for 30+ years he and Lois enjoyed their games together and with their many friends. When they moved to Mississippi they joined Colonial Country Club where he played at least once a week until he was well into his 90s.
Fred's military accomplishments were recognized with four Army service and commendation medals, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and induction into the Ordnance Corps Hall of fame. He received an honorary doctoral degree in engineering from Lehigh University. But he didn't stop there. After retiring from the military, Fred became vice president for corporate planning for Pennsylvania Power and Light, followed by nine years of service on the Lehigh Valley (HealthEast) Hospital Board. It was upon Fred's retirement from this board that a fellow trustee wrote these words, so aptly capturing the essence of Fred's character: "He serves with vigor, he serves with intelligence…He is meticulous, determined, thoughtful, and unfailingly courteous…an example to us all." Fred's friends and family would add that he brings kindness and his sassy sense of humor to every encounter. Since his passing, several friends have said that the world would be a better place with more men like Fred Kornet.
The family wishes to thank the entire staff of St. Catherine’s Village for the love and care extended to Fred and Lois as they enjoyed their final years as residents there.
Fred will be buried with full military honors, alongside Lois, at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Memorials may be made to Fisher House Foundation, 12300 Twinbrook Pkwy., Ste 410, Rockville, Md. 20852.